Author Archives: newstart

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Thank You Door County Scottie Rally

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Category : Rescue Story

We want to thank the great folks at Door County Scottie Rally for their generous donation to us.  This donation enabled us to help Elsa.  

Elsa came to us from a home with 30 other dogs.  She’s a tiny gal, weighing just over 4 pounds and as sweet as can be.  Elsa entered rescue with an infected foot because her toe nail was so overgrown that it had curled around into the pad of her foot.  Causing her a lot of pain.  

When she was in for her spay appointment they found that Elsa also had the beginning of a pyometra, which is an infected uterus.  This can be a deadly condition.      Elsa recovered well from surgery and having the toenail removed from her pad, although she was not a fan of the antibiotics that she needed.  

Without the donation from such a wonderful group, we may not have been able to help Elsa and see her as the happy girl she now is.  She’s even learning to make new friends:

You can learn more about Dorr County Scottie Rally at their website:

Or their Facebook Page:




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Godspeed JD

Category : Rescue Story


It was August of 2014 that we first met JD. A rough summer thunderstorm had just blown through West Michigan. An elderly man walked in to the vet clinic with his tail wagging old Golden Retriever. He requested to have the dog euthanized. When asked why, he said that his wife wouldn’t let him bring the dog back home. The dog had storm anxiety and had destroyed something in the house. As he talked, tears began to form in his eyes. When asked if he would consider surrendering the ol’ boy to A New Start On Life, he readily agreed. In talking to him we learned that JD had been his friend since he was a puppy and had lived on the man’s blueberry farm in Holland, MI.
I don’t know if this post will ever reach that man, but I wanted to let him know that JD left us yesterday. But in the year and half since he last saw him, JD led an amazing life. He was adopted by an exceptional young woman who doted on that old farm dog. He slept on orthopedic beds, got car rides on demand, had top notch medications and supplements to ease his arthritis and storm anxiety and ate the very best food and treats. He still had issues when unpredicted storms would roll through, and even did some damage to his new home – but never once did he know anything other than understanding and sympathy for his anxiety.
JD knew unconditional love and touched many lives. When his mind and old bones succumbed to the pain of his age, that exceptional young woman sat and held his head as he left her. Later she posted this promise to him “I promise you JD that I’ll always take on a foster like you, either a senior dog or one with a tough past who has their quirks. Although I can’t promise that said pet will ever leave, just like you my foster failure! ❤”
Please share JD’s story, and maybe that man will see it and find comfort. Or maybe someone who can no longer keep their pet will consider surrendering to a reputable rescue, and that pet can too go on with an amazing life and find an exceptional new owner. It’s hopefully never easy to give up a pet, but there are some times where it is the best thing.
Godspeed JD


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Adoption Update: Erebus

Category : Rescue Story


It wasn’t a year yet after my husband and I got married that I started talking about wanting a dog. He was skeptical because he grew up with cats. Also, he is allergic to most furry animals. I searched all the websites and went into PetCo Holland occasionally to see what shelters and rescues had on their adoption days. We won’t be having any kids for various reasons and I wanted a dog to love. It had to be the right dog though. One day we were on our way to Target and I asked my husband if we could stop by PetCo “just to see”. He humored me. When we walked in, this adorable black dog peeked her head around the corner of table and my heart just melted. I fell in love. My husband was hesitant, but Erebus went right up to him and wanted to play. He didn’t have any reaction to touching her so we went home after our errand and talked about it. He gave in and she’s been the biggest blessings in our lives. My husband plays and plays with her and they are napping buddies. She follows me around the house, loves car rides and barking at herself in the mirror. She snuggles up with both of us, makes me smile when I am sad and greets us at the door with exuberance like nothing I’ve ever seen. Our first Christmas was so special and we are so blessed to have her to complete our family. Thank you so much for all that you do with your dogs. You’ve blessed us with a little companion. She is loved and spoiled!

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A New Start for Toby

Category : Rescue Story

It all started with a post on Craigslist:


The pathetic condition of this dog sparked great concern for this dogs welfare.  A New Start On Life reached out to the owner who posted this dog, but the ad was removed and the owner never responded.  The image of the dog haunted us throughout the day.  We learned we weren’t the only one’s who were touched by this boy, he became something of an online outrage.  The day wore on and we were tagged in a post that someone had purchased this boy, but needed a rescue to take him.

Laura Sharp was so moved by Toby’s painful pictures that as soon as the owners responded to her, she drove over an hour to pick him up.  She talked them down to $100, loaded him and got out of there.  Laura reached out for help, she knew going into this that she could not keep him, and many recommended A New Start On Life.

In talking with Laura, we learned that Toby was refusing food.  A dog as underweight as he was should have been ravenous.  Laura loaded him back up and brought him to our vet, Mapleview Animal Hospital, where Dr. Jim Bader came in after hours to take a look at Toby.

At 15 months Toby weighed a mere 65 pounds.  He was dehydrated, but his blood work came back okay.  However, radiographs revealed that Toby’s stomach was about 3 times the size it should have been.  A barium study showed the barium being “absorbed” by something in the stomach, but not passing through.

toby third image


Dr. Bader found Toby’s stomach full of…!  Food that was unable to pass out of his stomach.  He removed all of the food, and checked Toby’s intestines.  There were a couple of possibilities as to what was going on, he was so emaciated for so long, and then fed a massive amount of food that this intestines did not have the motility to mover out of the stomach.  Or he simply had a motility issue with his intestines that was never diagnosed or treated?  Dr. Bader took biopsy’s of both the stomach and the intestines which are being sent to Colorado State University, so we will hopefully have an answer within the week.

The rescue of Toby was unexpected and A New Start On Life did not have the finances on hand for emergency diagnostics and surgery, so we started a CrowdRise fundraiser.  If you would like to help with the costs saving Toby you can send a donation to:

or paypal a donation to

or mail a donation to: A New Start On Life, P.O. Box 78, Hamilton, MI 49419


Here is Toby this morning, 12 hours after surgery.  He is acting like a puppy and was very bouncy.  He is being fed several very small meals to make sure things can “move through and out” the way they should. Toby’s not out of the woods, and this sweet boy would appreciate any prayers you may offer up for him.

It’s a shame that Toby’s original owners profited from their neglect.  Everything from the time Toby walked through the doors at Mapleview has been properly documented and will be sent to authorities.  We encourage you to demand a higher level of care for animals.  If the current laws don’t allow Toby’s previous owners to be prosecuted (and we will update) then we encourage everyone to make calls to state and local legislatures and demand a change.

3/12/2015 Update:

Toby has gained 12 pounds and went to his foster home tonight.  He’ll need to continue to gain weight so that he can be neutered and have a dental cleaning.  Toby is currently eating  3 cups of  3Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost 3 times a day.   We are very pleased with his progress.

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Toby is now in his adopted home and doing great and thriving.  He’s enjoying the life he should have always had!!!11997904_10153144287687253_439236624_n 11997262_10153144285587253_1776511539_n

A happy and healthy ADOPTED Toby!

A happy and healthy ADOPTED Toby!

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Category : Fundraiser

11018068_10153061518223232_443837080_oSave the date:  Saturday, May 16th, 2015!!!

Get professional electronic images of your pet (with you if you’d like).  All proceeds go to help the dogs of A New Start On Life.  Photos will be taken in Holland, MI.  Email now for your appointment.

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Midland County Dogs Looking for Foster Homes

Category : Foster Homes

A New Start On Life Midland County Dogs

Midland County Dogs Looking for Foster Homes

On February 6th, 2014, Midland County Sheriff’s met with a family who had been housing multiple dogs outside an improper and inhumane enclosures off of Putnam Drive in Homer Township. You can read the full press release about the Midland County dogs on the county’s website by clicking here.  The family voluntarily surrendered some of their dogs to us.

We are in need of two very loving foster homes to help us with a loving Beagle and Poodle Mix that we received. If you’re interested in fostering one of these dogs, please email us at and specify “Interested in Fostering Midland Dogs” in the email subject line. We will be in contact with you as soon as possible. Thank you for your support and helping us care for these loving animals!

Other Articles on the Midland County Dogs:

Pet Friends Magazine

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